Well, gang, it’s been a year. Not a great year, not a crap year. Just a year. We survived another one, but life can always be better, right? We cook up all these things we can do to make sure next year is an improvement on this one. Resolutions. Whatever. And I say this to that: Do better every day. Stop waiting for January 1 of whatever year besides the current to make life more palatable, more like the life you dream of. Stop waiting. You can do it anytime. It’s your life, after all.
So today, I resolve to do this more. Weekly. Daily. Whatever I can do. I’ll be writing. You should see the list, my friends! My first effort in a while is a doozy. Are you ready?
Jessica Chastain as Annabel
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Lucas AND Jeffrey (fun!)
Megan Charpentier as Victoria
Isabelle Nelisse as Lilly
Directed and co-written by Andres Muschietti
Jeffrey’s lost his mind. And his children. So Annabel and Jeffrey’s brother, Lucas, are setting out on a fun adventure—locate and raise the little darlings. An interesting twist for two seemingly immature, live-in-the-moment musicians who don’t have children (and maybe don’t want them?). The other interesting twist? The kids are a package deal. The rest of the package is a bit less desirable. Ok, a LOT less.
This is a weird film. Everyone did a really good job presenting their characters. I’m a big fan of both Chastain (Crimson Peak, Lawless) and Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones), and the young girls were really impressive. The story and ending left something to be desired, however.
So what was missing?
• SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER Why did Mama (NOT Annabel) latch onto Lilly? What was the deal there? And who lets a mysterious entity just float off a cliff with the youngest of two children you’re responsible for? Oh, ok, I guess since it means that it’ll leave the REST OF US alone, it’s alright. Forget that we’re now raising an only child who will probably need therapy right along side us for the rest of her life, that we’ve basically sacrificed everything up to this point for her, we’ll just let her go. Because Mama will be happy that way. WTF??? SMDH. That made absolutely NO sense.
I did enjoy a few things, though.
• The effects. Of course there were some green screens. But there’s a picture right on IMDb.com that shows that floating-cliff-Mama was a practical effect. I’m a sucker for practicals. Big fan. You can totally edit the wires out in post. Also, way to use lighting and sound as part of your scare arsenal, Muschietti! Reminds me of the original the Haunting from the ‘60s. Such fun.
• Jessica Chastain with a dark bob and tattoo. A seriously great look for her. Went with her put-upon, self-absorbed bitch of a character. She softens up a bit at the end though. She might like the girls, so she puts on a sweater to demonstrate her willingness to consider motherhood.
• The house. Any time the house is used as a character (or at least on the side of the characters) is a bit of a squee moment for me. Inanimate objects are super helpful in telling stories.
• The girls. Creepy. Yeah, they have a legitimate reason. I’d be creepy if I’d lived in an abandoned hunting cabin in the woods (heh heh) alone, scavenging for food and using leaves for warmth. It’ll take a while to get over that mess.
Weepy Meter: 0/10 Not gonna happen. Not even when SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERSPOILER Lilly heads off the cliff with Mama. It’s emotional, but there’s no reason for it, so I was just shaking my head disbelievingly and couldn’t cry for her. I was pissed at Annabel and Lucas. And why didn’t Victoria take off after her? Some sister bond. Sheesh.
Man Meter: 5/10 Some dudes just like scary movies. This is an interesting entry on his list. I’m betting he hasn’t seen it yet, though. It’s weird.
Overall Rating: 6/10 I enjoyed the majority of the movie. Jessica Chastain is a badass. The effects are rockin’. And that’s it. I own it, but I’m not 100% why.
Image from IMDB.com